Want to write? Invest in yourself.

I meet so many people who say they want to write a book, or at the very least, have a regular writing practice. Yet, they struggle to make it happen. Creating, developing, and maintaining a writing practice take intention and attention. Making a few tweaks to your thinking might make all the difference.

Think of it as an investment in yourself.

In my workshops and classes and when working with clients, I always say that honoring our impulse to write and create is an act of self-love.

I believe that impulse to create is our life force wanting to move and flow, and when we stifle it, we experience dis-ease on mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual levels.

So, how do you invest in yourself?

Privilege your writing practice in your mind.

Make it as important to your day as all the responsibilities you make time for on a regular basis. Instead of thinking I’ll get to my writing after I’ve taken care of X, Y, and Z, think I’m going to write XX days each week (for XX hours or XX pages).

Give it space in your day, on your calendar, and in your home.

Mark it on your calendar and treat it with the same respect you would a doctor’s appointment for yourself, for one of your kids, or for your pet. Or for a meeting at work. You’d remember it, you’d plan the rest of your day around it, and you’d show up for it.

If you aren’t able to designate a spot in your home as your private, personal writing space where no one else is allowed, find a time when the people you live with are out of the house or asleep. If you really want to write, you can give up an hour or two of TV or social media a few days each week.

Get a new writer’s notebook.

Think of this notebook as a place for you to jot down your ideas and thoughts—about your writing—that drift in and out of your brain as you go about your day, as you’re drifting off to sleep, or when you first wake up in the morning. If you’re a journaler, you can keep doing that, but in a separate notebook. A writer’s notebook and a journal are two different things.

Tell people.

Let people who are close to you know that you’ve made a decision to privilege your writing. Tell them what you need from them to make it happen. Time? Space? Quiet? Respect?

Read.

As Annie Proulx has said, “Reading is the finest teacher of how to write.” Read books in the same vein as the one you want to write. Read books that are different from the one you want to write. Read short fiction. Read non-fiction. Read novels. Read poetry. There’s something to learn from them all.

View yourself as a writer.

Instead of seeing yourself as a parent or an employee at a company or organization who wants to write, see yourself as a writer who happens to also be a parent and/or work another job. And if you’ve yet to be published, it doesn’t make you less legit than people who have been published. If it helps, use a mantra. Say I am a writer over and over in your thoughts throughout the day. Or writing is not a luxury. Or writing is an act of self-love. You’ll start to believe it.

So much of the act of writing—the act of getting the words on the page—is all in the mind. When we can think about writing differently, we can show up for it and give the creative impulse inside us the respect it deserves.

What can you do to move your writing practice further up your list of “Important Things To Do”?

Sending you mad writing mojo…

Attitude and Commitment: Your writing deserves your respect

In my last blog post, I wrote about how essential it is to plan and schedule if we’re going to get serious about creating a writing life. We can’t lean on inspiration. It isn’t realistic, and inspiration is a myth. Sure, we might find inspiration while living our lives, but if we’re serious about getting words on the page, we MUST create a practice and not wait to be moved by some outside magical force. Beyond planning and scheduling, there are two items we need to tend to before we can successfully move forward with and honor our impulse to write: mindset and commitment.

We hear these words a lot these days. In fact, we hear them so often, I wonder if their potency – of their power to change our lives – including our writing lives – gets lost. It’s one thing to acknowledge the concepts of mindset and commitment, but it’s a whole other thing to implement them in a meaningful way.

Think of all the things you’ve mastered in your life because you devoted the time it took to learn: riding a bike, driving, brushing your teeth… Or walking, talking, and feeding yourself. Wait a minute, you might be thinking. Those are ridiculous comparisons. I don’t think so…

Sure, we need some of those skills for survival, or at the very least, to get through our day in a modern world. But I believe we also need writing, creativity, and self-expression to get through the day, and for survival. As I said in my last post, that impulse to create is our life force wanting to move up and out of us – to be expressed and expanded. To stifle that life force harms us.

Can you imagine where you might be with your writing practice if you approached it with the same attitude and mindset you did all the things you’ve mastered in life, all the things you treat as “necessary?”

Please don’t buy into the notion that only certain people can write, only certain people have meaningful stories to tell, only certain people sit down and it just happens. Reject the idea that you can’t do it, that you don’t have time, that there are already enough stories and books in the world. (There will never be enough stories and books in the world!)

Instead, embrace your unique, never-before-lived life, your right to be in this world, your right to have a voice. Wrap your brilliant brain around the fact that your story, your book, will make a difference in other people’s lives.

And when you’ve finally let go of the self-doubt, the internal voices, the misguided, inaccurate, and faulty beliefs that have kept you silent, commit.

Commit to your writing they way you’ve committed to the people in your life you love the most. Commit to your writing the way you’ve committed to overcoming the most difficult time in your life. Commit to your writing like it’s your life line to a meaningful life. Commit to your writing as if your life depends on it.

It does.

Of course, you can remain physically alive if you don’t write. Of course, if you don’t acknowledge and honor your impulse to share your meaningful stories and brilliant ideas you’ll get through your days and complete the tasks that need completing. But your spirit and your voice will know. Your spirit and your voice will dim. They will hold back and slip into a modicum of existence. They will quiet. And that will be tragic.

What will it take for you to honor your urge to write?

Need some help clearing the clutter and forging a path to make it happen? If so, go get my COMPLIMENTARY Conjuring Clarity course and get busy shapeshifting your way to a regular writing practice.

And let me know how it goes…

As always, I’m sending you mad writing mojo… Happy writing.